Warm up and Cool down for Wakesurfing
Christie Rourke - 15 May 2017
There is many different schools of thought when it comes to stretching, flexibility exercises and the best way to warm up and cool down for sports and activities.
Many people remember the old school idea of stretching statically before exercise, but mostly only ever hold a stretch for a few seconds. Either way, this is not necessary before exercise and won't help you improve your flexibility.
The best thing to do before you exercise and especially for before wakesurfing is to do a dynamic warm up with big slow movements that mimic the sport and movements you will be performing.
I would use these 4/5 exercises to get the whole body warm and ready. Dont forget to activate your hip flexors and glutes (your most important area where all movement should originate) Rub the activation points and practice some deep belly breaths.
Big arm circles; I like to do these backwards as we spend too much of our lives with our shoulders forward and hunched and closed. We want to open them and stretch through the chest and shoulders. This also gets the blood flowing quickly round the body.
Large hip circles; again long large movements, slowly this time to get the legs moving and blood flowing and encourage range of movement outwards through the hips.
- Ankle circles standing on one leg; this will get our bodies prepped for balancing, and also test our balance on one leg, improving our overal core and balancing. It will circle and move the ankle joint which takes a lot of pressure surfing and needs range in all directions. especially when squatting low for spins and tricks and for landing off big carves and jumps.
Then perform a few walking lunges forwards backwards and side to side.
Squats at a medium pace for around 10 reps to warm up the legs and into the knees and ankle joints.
This warm up will only take 5 to 10 minutes.
Then you are ready to train or compete!
After exercise is when we can do static stretching to reduce our recovery time, improve our flexibility and prevent injuries. These should be done within 30 minutes of finishing exercise, and held for at least 30 seconds, up to 90 seconds for each stretch.
- Hip flexors – the most important muscle as all movement initiates from the hip flexor
- Glutes - your gluteus maximus; largest muscle in the body
- Quads (front of thigh stretch)
- Shoulders stretching the back of the shoulders and the rotator cuff
- Down dog is a great stretch for the whole back, shoulders and back of legs and even the chest
When you're not surfing it is important to do some conditioning, flexibility training and work on your core balance. Proprioception is the system that feeds back where our limbs are in space, therefore giving us control and balance-especially important when the environment i.e. the water and the board, can move and not be where our bodies expect.. We have to constantly adjust ourselves in accordance and this therefore needs training.)
Flexibility and Proprioception/Balance work;
- Forward fold (bend at the waiste to touch your toes or go down as far as you can) to increase your back's flexibility and length. It will help improve hamstring length which is important especially if you sit a lot for work, travel etc. The hamstrings often tighten and shorten and this puts pressure on the lower back.
- Stretching or foam rollering the quads muscles will help to losen these off too. We need to create balance in the body and don't want tight quads (front of thigh) because this can pull the pelvis forward and again cause back pain.
- Chest stretching and back rotation stretch (Jathara Parivrtti pose in yoga). This stretch gives a lovely spine twist, whilst stretching and opening the chest and the front of the shoulders and opening the hips.
- For ankle proprioception you can use a rolled up towel, or a cushion, or a wobble board. Standing on both feet try and balance and stay balanced. Then progress to one foot at a time.
- Using an Indo board/balance board for whole body proprioception and balance training, and learning tricks for surfing is also a great way of preparing your proprioception (balance feedback from body to mind).
Christie is pictured in her favourite GlideSoul spring wetsuit in amazing pink and purple on the beach. The hidden butterfly in the detail is her favourite aspect of the gorgeous shorty wetsuit. The neoprene is such a great quality and feels so good to wear.
Christie is GlideSoul's friend and Sports Therapist who loves the water. She can often be found doing paddle board yoga, wakesurfing and wakeboarding. She loves to surf in the winter when the English seas allow and is enjoying wakesurfing and wakeboarding again now the lake has warmed up a little. She runs a Sports Injury Clinic in Worthing overlooking the sea www.bodywaves.co.uk